QL muscle

Softening The Low Back

softening the low back with Stu

Low back ache is suffered by so many people and as a yoga student it can often make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable. Depending on the underlying cause of the discomfort these few postures may help you on your way to finding more space and softness.

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The Role of the Adductors in Backbends

Adductor muscles

Many yoga practitioners instinctually know to engage their inner thigh muscles (adductors) in backbends to prevent their knees from falling out to the sides. Let’s examine how we can utilise this action to ignite our core, expand our backward arch and experience simultaneously more stability and spaciousness in backbends. The adductor muscles of the inner thigh are part of our axial core.

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Glute Max for Maximum Extension


For some the jury is still not out on whether one should or should not engage the gluteus maximus muscle when performing back bending yoga postures.Firstly, let’s have a close look at the functional anatomy of this muscle. Gluteus maximus, commonly known as glute max, is the superficial ‘rump’ muscle of our buttocks. Its prominent, characteristic shape and large size correlate to its powerful role of maintaining our trunk in an upright position. Additionally, gluteus maximus plays an essential role in gait, i.e. walking.

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Quadratus Lumborum (QL) A real Pain in the Back!

Quadratus Lumborum

I have written about a number of the “lightning rod” muscles such as the piriformis, psoas, and transverse abdominis. I refer to them as “lightning rods” because they attract attention. Sometimes this is for good reason, after all, everyone should know about his or her psoas. However, every problem related to core shouldn’t be thrown onto the back of the psoas or the transverse abdominis for that matter.

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